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Can I overload my CPU with to much RAM?


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#1 Folrig

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:20 PM

Computer Specs:

OS..................Windows XP
CPU.................Intel Pentium 4 541
RAM................1.0GB Single-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz (5-5-5-31)
Motherboard.....ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5N-E SLI (Socket 775)
GPU................256MB GeForce 7600 GT (BFG Tech)(Which is strangely running at 60 Celsius right now)


A couple of years ago I wanted to upgrade my computer with some more RAM. I went to browse what was available at my local Best Buy and started discussing what I wanted to do with the salesman.

He asked me what kind of processor I had. Of course at the time I didn't know, but I asked him why he wanted to know. He said I had to be careful not to overload my CPU with to much RAM, and that I could burn out my CPU.

Ever since then anytime I considered upgrading my computer I've been haunted by that statement. So far the internet hasn't yielded much information on the subject.

Does anyone here know if this is true? Can I overload and burnout my (any) CPU with to much RAM?

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:56 PM

I've certainly never heard of such a thing. It may be in theory "possible" but unlikely. Your motherboard is only designed to support so much ram-and typically, even the max amount of ram, is never enough to burn out a CPU. Your motherboard can support up to 8 gigs of ram-it should not hurt your CPU in the least bit. Im assuming your running xp home though, which is a 32 bit OS, and your computer will not recognize more then 3.25-3.75 gigs of ram due to the Operating system requirements. The pentium 4 is certainly not a very powerful chip-but it wont burn up by putting 3-4 gigs of ram into your system.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#3 killerx525

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:37 AM

Lame theory by that salemen. It should be fine my pentium 4 desktop has 2GB of ram.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#4 Platypus

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:07 AM

Indeed your CPU won't be harmed by the amount of RAM you fit. Intel CPUs since the Pentium Pro (and comparable AMD processors) are technically capable of addressing 64GB of RAM, up to 4GB isn't going to make a P4 bat an eye.

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#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:17 AM

Even 8 gigs wont if you upgrade to a 64 bit OS.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#6 killerx525

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 09:26 AM

It is really depends on the CPU on how much it can take in ram.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 the_patriot11

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:41 AM

yes, but pretty much any 64 bit CPU can, in theory read up to 64 gigs of ram like platypus has stated-the pentium 4 in question, is indeed a 64 bit CPU.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#8 Folrig

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:48 PM

Thanks for the help folks!

You guys are awesome!

So, after reading your responses, I had a new angle in which to search the internet. I came across info saying that hardware is built for a 32 bit OS, 64 bit OS, etc. Patriot noted that my CPU is a 64 bit CPU. So, would it stand to reason that I should (when I have money to burn) upgrade to 64 bit XP or Windows 7? The forum I got this info from said 64 bit hardware would have worse performance on a 32 bit OS than 32 bit hardware on a 32 bit OS.

Hmm.. Maybe the salesman was worried that I had a processor built for a 16 bit system.

#9 the_patriot11

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:11 PM

In reality, with that old of a system running windows xp, I wouldnt waste the money going with a 64 bit OS unless your going with a linux distro. That is an aging CPU, and unless your seriously doing something system heavy, the 3.25 gigs (out of a 4 gig set) that a 32 bit OS will recognize will be more then enough, and while it will run faster with a 64 bit OS, I sincerely doubt youll notice much of a difference. In the end, if the CPU is bottlenecking you, youd be better off upgrading your CPU or saving for a new system in my opinion.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#10 dc3

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 12:53 AM

Just to try to help clarify why there is a limitation of usable RAM with a 32-bit operating system.

A 32-bit operating system has an Address Space of 4GB. This space is not only used by the RAM, but for other critical functions such as the system BIOS, motherboard resources, memory mapped I/O, AGP, PCI, PCI-E, and other memory allocations for PCI devices use this space as well.

Different onboard devices and different add-on cards (devices) will result in different total memory size. This means that the more PCI cards installed will require more memory resources, resulting of less memory free for other uses, like RAM. Typically a 32-bit operating system will recognize between 3.3GB and 3.5GB of total RAM.

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#11 killerx525

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 12:56 AM

You should add a extra 1GB which makes it 2GB with dual channel. If you are planning to upgrade to windows 7, it will run fine with 2GB of ram but it's a little slow because of the pentium 4.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#12 Folrig

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:08 AM

If I were to add RAM I would add a 2GB stick. I think anything smaller would be a waste of money as I'd have to replace it if I wanted to max out my computer.

Actually on NewEgg I have a wish list of what it would take to max out my computer (not including OS upgrade/change). The price was somewhere around $600 which is about what I put into building it five or six years ago.

To max it out I want to give it 8GB RAM, Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66 CPU, 300GB 10000rpm Raptor drive, and a Galaxy GeForce 8400 512MB GPU. I don't know that I could go much fancier than that with my motherboard. I think I could double the cost of the CPU, I'm not sure it would be worth the extra $150.

Not that I have the money to do this right now, but it's fun to plan. I wonder though, if I wait to much longer, should I just invest in a whole new setup?

#13 killerx525

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:07 PM

You could do those upgrades or keep up with new stuff which is cheaper. 8GB of ram is not necessary and 7200rpm hard drive should do.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#14 diggi

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:30 PM

I max out my 4gb of ram on my win xp 32 bit system very easily, but since its a dual boot I prefer running the win7 64bit OS to make use of the other 4gb that is installed.
So I find 8GB to be very neccessary and the min rqrments for any future build.
I say max out your system, you can never go wrong with too much RAM, there are always programs that are RAM hungry.
If you are going to spend $600 on upgrades I would prolly just build a new budget AMD system with that scratch

#15 Dwarf

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 01:50 PM

The amount of RAM you can install and use is not limited by your CPU but by your motherboard. Since memory modules larger than 4GB are hard to come by, it is a fair aasumption that you can use the following formula to determine the maximum amount of RAM supported: 4GB x Number of Slots = Maximum Memory Capacity (GB)

Suffice it to say that if you are running a 32-bit OS, you will be limited to 3.25-3.75GB dependant on hardware. To access the full quota installed (if greater than 3.75GB) you will need a 64-bit system.




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